Thursday, 16 January 2014

Deacon is One Hundred Not Out

Deacon Ted
It was with great joy and thanksgiving that Deacon Ted celebrated his 100th Birthday on Saturday 11 January 2014. The church of SS Peter & John, Camberley was filled with family, friends, parishioners and well-wishers who all came to celebrate Ted’s hundred year mark at a special Mass celebrated by parish priest Monsignor Richard Madders and arranged by Ted’s son, Dave Connelly.

At 100 years, Deacon Ted still retains a strong, uplifting voice and confidently proclaimed the Gospel at Mass with a voice that spoke of a lifetime of devotion to the Word of God and service of the Church. After Mass a special lunch was held in the adjacent church hall where Deacon Ted received many cards, gifts and words of affection, appreciation and thanks. The traditional ‘telegram’ from Her Majesty the Queen was shown and admired.

Ted Connelly was ordained a ‘permanent deacon’ on July 9th, 1976 becoming one of the very first to be ordained in England & Wales. Following the completion of training and formation at Heythrop College, 1975-76, he went on to serve as a deacon at the parish of Our Lady Queen of Heaven at Burnham, Bucks in the Northampton Diocese until he retired at the age of 90. After a few years he came to live with his family in the Camberley & Bagshot Catholic Parish, Arundel & Brighton Diocese.

Permanent Deacons today are regularly providing an important ministry of care and support in many Catholic parishes in England & Wales. They preach the Word of God, lead services, bring Holy Communion to the sick, baptise, marry and provide funeral liturgies. The permanent diaconate was common in the early Church but over the centuries fell out of use as the other two major orders, those of bishop and priest, became the norm for ministry. It was the Second Vatican Council in the 1960’s that restored the ancient ministry and today across the country there are many permanent deacons serving the needs of the Church in a variety of ways.

You can find out more about the Diaconate in this Diocese on our website.

Deacon Ted with Mgr Richard Madders, Deacons Roy Waters and Douglas Denny

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